Indigenous oil company Anotech, a subsidiary of Advance Oil Production Systems Ltd (AOPSL)/NNPCL Joint Venture operated by Sterling Global Nigeria Limited, has suffered significant losses estimated at N500 million due to suspected arson attacks on its facilities at the OML 16 site in Ochia-Awara/Assa community of Imo State.
Impeccable sources within the police department have confirmed that the incident specifically targeted Anotech Global Company Nigeria Limited, an indigenous firm specializing in oil and gas pipelines and facilities construction and installation.
Anotech is currently responsible for a 23km pipeline installation project, which spans across multiple communities, including Obitti, Ochia, Awala, Assa, Obile Ana, and Ada Palm communities in Imo State.
During the attack on Anotech’s site, a range of equipment was deliberately set ablaze. This equipment includes excavators, selfloader trucks, numerous 150kva generators, over 20 welding machines, various-sized cable grinding machines, welding tents, and control panels, among other tools. The total estimated value of the damaged items exceeds N500 million.
Mr. Patrick Egwuatu, the Site Manager for Anotech, issued a statement recounting the ordeal. He stated that the unknown assailants had intentionally set fire to the company’s facilities. Adding that the incident had been reported to Sterling Global Nigeria Limited, the leaders of the host communities, and the Imo State Police Command. He further noted that the burnt remnants of the oil equipment were scattered throughout the Assa work site of Anotech.
In his statement titled “Incident Report On The Fire Outbreak On The AOPSL 18 Row Assa Site,” Egwuatu described the events leading up to the fire. He mentioned receiving a phone call from one of the site’s night security personnel, Mr. Abuchi Elelu, who informed him about the extensive damage, including the loss of generators, welding machines, toolboxes, and consumables due to the fire. Elelu explained that the fire had started suddenly, prompting him and his fellow security staff to take refuge in the nearby bush out of fear for their safety.
Egwuatu called his colleagues, informed his base office, notified the site client representatives Mr. Ernest and Mr. Vishal, and contacted the Assa PG (President General). He also appealed to law enforcement agencies to conduct a thorough investigation to apprehend the culprits and bring them to justice.
While Commissioner of Police, Imo State Command, Mr. Stephen Olanrewaju, could not be reached for immediate comment, reliable sources within the command confirmed that an investigation into the incident is already underway.